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Re: Some ideas and concerns regarding fakeroot

On Sat, Sep 06, 1997 at 04:44:24PM -0700, Christoph Lameter wrote:
> Debianizing a package often requires hacking around in Makefile to make
> the package install in debian/tmp or so. The fakeroot package is already
> messing around with the permissions of files and buiding a file index in
> ram I guess. Could we have the following functionality to avoid the
> editing of makefiles:
> 1. There is a environment variable VIRTUAL_ROOT which is set by the
> maintainer to the debian/tmp directory.
> 2. If the installation is trying to write a file to a directory where
> there are no permission to write (package is build under regular userid)
> then redirect the file into VIRTUAL_ROOT/path and create all leading
> directories. 
> 3. If a file is opened for reading with an absolute path then first look
> into VIRTUAL_ROOT/path before trying to access the real path.
> Maybe the above would make it extremely easy to debianize software in the
> future.
> Concerns:
[--------------concernes omitted------------------]

I think that the general idea here is excellent!  Just about every
UNIX program out there offers a "mke install" option.  If fakeroot
provides a fake root filesystem (i.e. fake "/" ) as well as a fake
set of permission setting routines, we have just make Debian the world's
easiest to package for Operating system.  All the maintainer has to do
is let the package install itself, and then mv a few files (if necessary)
to comply with Debian policy. This could be done as some minor post-
processing to the programs own "make-install"

I know I spent a lot of unpleasent time 
mucking about in Makefiles to package the few Debian packages I have
made.  It would be great if making a new Debian package was a simple as:

1) run "deb-make" to create a pre-loaded debian directory.
2) edit debian/control, copyright, conffiles, and changelog.
3) type "dpkg-buildpackage" to build the thing letting the program
	do its own "make install" to a fake root filesystem.
4) run "deblint" to see if the package violates any policy.
5) Change "debian/rules" so that after the "make install" it then 
	moves the offending files to a politically correct (Debian style)
6) run "dpkg-buildpackage" again, and upload the new package!

Now _that_ would be simple!  I believe that this would qualify as a 
"World Domination, fast!" type of approach.  We would have the Red Hat
folks drooling at how easy Debian is! 

Erik B. Andersen   Web:    http://www.inconnect.com/~andersen/ 
                   email:  andersee@debian.org
--This message was written using 73% post-consumer electrons--

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